Family & Divorce

Excellent set' St John's Chambers is 'a go-to chambers in the South West for hard working, knowledgeable and good quality barristers across the board in the arena of family law."

Legal 500  2022
Family and Children Law

St John’s Family & Divorce team is one of the foremost sets practising family law on the Western Circuit, and we are well known for our expertise in high-value financial remedy work as well as public and private child law both nationally and internationally. Within the team that currently comprises 1 QC and 28 juniors, we have two Recorders, one fee paid judge of the Upper Tier Tribunal and two Deputy District Judges, highlighting the quality of our legal services.

Shortlisted for ‘Regional Family Law Chambers of the Year’ at Family Law Awards 2021

The team enjoy a national reputation for their personable and friendly manner with clients, whether at court, in conference or over the telephone. We are particularly skilled at handling cross-jurisdictional matters for high net worth individuals, especially those concerning the division of assets as part of divorce proceedings. The barristers are frequently called upon to assist with the most complex public children mandates encompassing sexual abuse, brain injury and trafficking matters, and also take on private work such as Children Act proceedings

The team are consistently ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK, read more here.

We are continuously instructed in cases of crossover into Court of Protection (both health & welfare and property & affairs), Inheritance Act, ToLATA and education. We are the ‘go to’ Chambers when it comes to CMS appeals and advice.

The team provide all ADR services including private FDR’s (chairing and representing), represented mediation (leading and representing), and will be arbitrating from July in both financial remedy and Children Act matters.

In financial claims we represent all parties including interveners and third parties as well as spouses and partners. For cases involving children, alongside the parents, our clients include local authorities, Guardians, CAFCASS Legal, the Official Solicitor, and wider family members.

The way in which we have adapted to the changes bestowed upon the team by Covid19, and how we’ve been able to help not only our clients but also the judiciary and court staff, has set us apart. We went 98% paperless immediately when the first lockdown was announced and had Teams/Zoom facilities throughout, which were used creatively to assist our clients and, equally, to assist the courts.

They set a Gold standard with their clerking, which is wonderfully creative and dynamic. They will frequently step up to resolve listing issues for all parties on a given case and make the job of the instructing solicitors that much easier. All chambers should aspire to work in the way that St John’s do.”

instructing solicitor

We also advise on civil partnership disputes as well as professional negligence claims arising from family cases.

Working regularly alongside experts such as valuers, pension specialists, accountants, social workers and medical professionals, each barrister strives to ensure that we find the right solution for each client.

Access to justice remains at the forefront and is integral to our business. Since the introduction of Graduated Fees in 2001, we are committed to providing a comprehensive service in publicly funded work so that the most vulnerable members of society still have proper legal representation.

Our barristers have worked on numerous projects supporting Litigants in Person and vulnerable witnesses. The team has also been involved in initiatives to help the local community.

Our barristers are often quoted in articles about family law, or indeed publish their own, both in the mainstream and legal press, along with specialist journals and via their own respected family law blogs. Barristers have also been featured in a variety of publications and BBC programmes.

Our clerking team are always accessible, and take care and time to understand the case or the individual personalities involved when recommending individual barristers. Read more.

Public Access

Some members of the team are also available to act, where appropriate, for members of the public, under the Public Access scheme. Read more.

Publications and training

Members regularly conduct seminars in Chambers, at solicitors’ offices, or at other chosen venues throughout the UK. We maintain close ties with academics and our members include several published authors, as well as writing for legal periodicals. Please contact Luke Hodgson on 0117 923 4709 or email [email protected].

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